• Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014
Video production, casting division, new business hires at Sound Lounge
Michael Glennon
NEW YORK -- 

Sound Lounge, an audio post house in Manhattan, is continuing to expand its capabilities and areas of expertise with hires at its video production arm, casting division and new business department.

Michael Glennon will join Mister:-|Face, Sound Lounge’s creative video production arm as executive producer. An experienced integrated producer, Glennon has spent the last nine years producing content for such agencies as co:collective, Grey and JWT. Past clients include Nestle, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s Diageo, Rolex, HSBC, Microsoft, Kimberly Clarke, Energizer, Cadbury Adams, Jet Blue and Bloomberg.

Anthony Pichette joins Sound Lounge as on-camera casting director of its Sidecar Casting division. With over 14 years of experience, Pichette was previously a casting director for NYC’s Kipperman Casting, where he worked on large voiceovers, industrials and commercial campaigns ranging from Coke to Capri Sun, Kraft Singles, Nintendo Wii, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Six Flags and more. While at Kipperman Casting, he also assisted the in-house casting departments at networks such as Nickelodeon (Blues Clues), Sci-Fi, Food Network, Spike and MTV.

Sound Lounge has also added Shirley Ramos to its business development team. Ramos will oversee sales and business development for both Mister:-|Face and Sound Lounge. Previously, Ramos was director of business development at Click 3X and Pulse Music.

Additionally Michael Gullo has come aboard Sound Lounge as a producer. With a background in music and marketing, Gullo will help oversee production, scheduling and client relations at Sound Lounge.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014
Microsoft hires Qualcomm exec to make more deals
Microsoft sign at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. (AP file photo)
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) -- 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has lured away an executive from smartphone chip maker Qualcomm to hammer out more deals that will expand the software maker's presence in the mobile device market.

Margaret "Peggy" Johnson will serve as Microsoft Corp.'s executive vice president of business development after spending the past 24 years at Qualcomm Corp. She will report directly to Nadella in her new job.

Since succeeding Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO six months ago, Nadella has been focused on ways to make Microsoft's software and other services more appealing to use on smartphones and tablets as people increasingly rely on those devices instead of desktop and laptop computers.

Microsoft Windows operating system has long been the most influential force on personal computers, but the Redmond, Washington, company has been eclipsed by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in the mobile market. Apple has become the world's most valuable company, largely because of its trend-setting iPhone and iPad, while Google parlayed its dominance of Internet search to create Android, the mostly widely used mobile operating system.

"Peggy shares our worldview and knows what it takes to drive new growth in mobility and the cloud," Nadella said.

Johnson, 52, most recently was an executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and was also president of the San Diego company's global market development. With her hiring, Johnson becomes the third woman on Microsoft's 15-person team of senior executives at a time when technology companies are under intensifying pressure to diversify their leadership and lessen their reliance on men.

Besides her past stint at Qualcomm, Johnson also sits on the board of concert promoter and ticket seller Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

Johnson starts her new job at Microsoft on Sept. 1.

  • Monday, Aug. 4, 2014
Hawthorne Direct ups Klayman to associate creative director
Neil Klayman
LOS ANGELES -- 

Hawthorne Direct, a full service brand response ad agency, has promoted Neil Klayman from sr. copywriter to associate creative director. Klayman will continue to report to John Pucci, chief creative officer.

In his new position, Klayman will be more involved with new business pitches, as well as manage the creative process on a diverse range of client campaigns, from ideation through production.

Klayman joined Hawthorne Direct as a sr. writer in 2012.  In that role, he was responsible for DRTV, BRTV and digital advertising copy creation for all agency clients. Klayman came to Hawthorne Direct with over 15 years of experience as a copywriter at various advertising agencies and entertainment companies, including The Woo Agency, Rapp Worldwide, E! Networks and Mattel, Inc. He honed his copywriting and creative skills while working on campaigns for such clients as Lenovo, Samsung, Bank of America, Schwab, AAA, E! Entertainment TV, Style Network, Disney, and Pixar.

Klayman has been honored numerous times by the International Film & TV Festival of New York for his outstanding writing. He was honored by Eunice Kennedy Shriver for writing and producing several documentaries profiling New Hampshire Special Olympics athletes. He is also the author of the popular, published children’s book, “Boris Ate A Thesaurus”, which was chosen as a “Book of The Year” by both the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association. 

  • Monday, Aug. 4, 2014
Director Erik Buth joins Not To Scale
Erik Buth
NEW YORK -- 

Not To Scale, the New York-based production and animation company with offices in Amsterdam and London, has added veteran commercial director Erik Buth to its roster. Buth and Not to Scale exec producer Santino Sladavic, who previously worked together at Blind, are teaming up again at Not to Scale’s NYC office.

“Santino was the executive producer that made my first professional directing job happen,” related Buth. “We were working together at Blind when I moved from editing to directing, and the rest is history.”

Buth’s most recent work spans Sweet ‘N Low; a spellbinding short film for the long running video game franchise MX vs. ATV; sports apparel company Russell Athletic; and mattress maker Sealy.

Buth brings over 20 years of experience in the advertising, television, and film industries, in which he has worked as a director, creative director, art director, designer, animator, and editor. Buth also has extensive directorial experience for live action, 3D animation, and 2D motion graphics, and has helped create a wide variety of commercials, promos, network ID’s, spots, title sequences, and feature film trailers.

Buth moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s and took a job at Creative Partnership as an assistant editor and postproduction supervisor before striking out on his own as a freelance editor. It was while editing the teaser trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan that Buth met Garson Yu, founder of Yu+Co, which sparked what would be an extended creative partnership. Over the balance of the ‘90s, Buth worked on title sequences for films including Enemy of the State, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Lost Souls, as well as spots for Intel, Showtime, and a theatrical trailer for Dolby Digital.

In early 2001, Buth gave up the freelance life to work for Blind, first as an editor and art director, and eventually as creative director and director. During his 13-year tenure at Blind, Buth directed spots for Chili’s Baby Back Ribs, Pringles, Verizon, Sealy, Oppenheimer Funds, Microsoft, American Airlines, Sweet ‘N Low and Russell Athletic, among others.

  • Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2014
VFX artist Patricio Fernandez joins Splice
Patricio Fernandez
MINNEAPOLIS -- 

Creative studio Splice has brought visual effects artist Patricio Fernandez aboard its roster. With credits that include such feature films as Wrath of the Titans, Terminator: Salvation, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The First Avenger, Fernandez expands the visual effects capacity of Splice, as the company continues to grow its feature and episodic television visual effects team.

Early on in his career Fernandez served as a creative and producer for commercial campaigns, an assistant editor for a feature film, and an editor for a postproduction company, all in Argentina. With his mind set on future goals, he moved to the U.S. in late 2000 where he earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Animation at the Miami International University of Art and Design. Since then, Fernandez founded Illusion Factory, Inc. in Florida, a postproduction company that provided services to Discovery Channel. He then freelanced for a variety of studios but for the three years prior to joining Splice, he worked regularly with Method Studios in Santa Monica, Calif.

Fernandez has worked in a variety of roles as a VFX artist for the aforementioned feature films  as well as Cloud Atlas, This Means War and Argo, in addition to a  number of commercials and Super Bowl ads for Kia, Microsoft, Direct TV and Canon.

Splice producer Drew Sondeland said of Fernandez, “He has the know-how and experience to be plugged in early, providing our clients with valuable pre-pro insight. His vast capabilities have already opened up a lot of new exciting opportunities for Splice.”

  • Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014
Julie Stone joins DRIVER Media as exec producer
Julie Stone
NEW YORK -- 

DRIVER Media, an outsourced advertising and content production service for agencies and marketers, has brought veteran production executive Julie Stone as executive producer.

Stone brings client-side production experience to DRIVER, having spent over a decade at Victoria’s Secret, where she was director of broadcast television and web video content, as well as creative director of broadcast for parent company Limited Brands. While there she helped create and produce iconic fashion advertising and broadcast content, helping make the Victoria’s Secret brand synonymous with beauty, sexuality, mystery and passion.

In addition to her time at Victoria’s Secret, she’s also worked with a who’s who of major fashion, beauty and personal care brands, including Ralph Lauren, Neutrogena, Bath & Bodyworks, Revlon and Michael Kors, to name a few.

Stone’s hire adds significantly to DRIVER Media’s expertise, which runs the gamut from agency producing and staffing of production teams to business affairs, in-house production, creative editorial and post, digital media production and distribution and other related services.

Besides her intimate knowledge of the fashion and beauty world, Stone also possesses a deep insight into how marketers think and act – both of which will help DRIVER Media as it increases the amount of direct-to-client work the company handles and moves aggressively into production opportunities for brands aimed at women, kids and families via the online programming provided by sister company DRIVER Digital. DRIVER Digital recently struck agreements with hair care brands John Frieda and TRESemmé to create content around YouTube personality Judy Travis and her DRIVER Digital channels, “It’s Judy Time” and “It’s Judy’s Life.”

Stone got her start as a producer at the New England ad agency North Castle Partners, where she worked on a range of consumer brands such as Ocean Spray and Slim Jim. She then moved to New York to work as sr.  producer at the boutique Carlson & Partners where she worked on Ralph Lauren and Neutrogena.  Stone joined Victoria’s Secret in 2001 and was an integral part of CMO Ed Razek’s team. 

Stone said she was drawn to DRIVER’s business model which “is perfectly positioned in this era where brands are often moving independently of their agencies to pursue and execute marketing ideas and concepts.  In this respect, there’s a lot DRIVER Media can do to help them grow by taking the burden off them as to how to get content produced, whether traditional advertising, branded content or digital.”

Stone’s hire comes as DRIVER Media expands its reach in the area of client-direct work. Recently it partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to produce a series of World Cup documentary-style web films and 30 and 60-second TV spots.

  • Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014
Editor Tom Vogt joins Spot Welders
Tom Vogt
NEW YORK -- 

Editor Tom Vogt has joined the roster at the New York office of Spot Welders, the creative editorial company.  

Vogt’s career includes an extensive background in editing long and short form comedy for broadcast and cinema. He played a key role in the irreverent storytelling of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, shaping as lead editor the groundbreaking animated TV series South Park. Vogt’s credits also include Team America: World Police and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

Vogt also spent two years working closely with the Academy Award-nominated director Morgan Spurlock, for whom he edited POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Story Ever Sold, Spurlock’s take on sponsorship and branding.  Formerly on staff at Bluerock and MacKenzie Cutler, Vogt has since freelanced for a range of agencies and post houses.

The editor’s commercial work includes spots for FedEx, Axe, Oberto Beef Jerky, eBay, ESPNU and AT&T (starring Will Arnett). Vogt’s deft timing on Bud Light’s famous “Dude” spot helped launch the campaign that became an early Internet sensation.

Vogt wanted to bring his skills to a company with a strong brand and experience and knowledgeable leadership. After meeting with the key players at Spot Welders in NYC, including partner/editor Dick Gordon and EP Joanne Ferraro, he was convinced it was the best place for him.  Vogt added that the ability to move back and forth between advertising and entertainment is another factor that attracted him to Spot Welders. 

A former acoustical engineer, Vogt designed concert halls, recording studios and performance spaces for Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, Universal Studios Tokyo and EuroDisney in Paris. While in France he began to study art and photography. His work eventually caught the eye of Carter Tomassi, the head of cinematography at Colossal Pictures, the vanguard San Francisco studio behind numerous award-winning commercials, interactive media projects and TV series such as MTV’s Liquid Television.

Vogt went on to join Colossal as a camera assistant and worked his way up through the production and effects ranks.  That’s where he discovered his passion for editing, which he saw as a link between his creative interests and his technical inclinations. After Colossal he sent his work to the creators of South Park, who welcomed him to the fold. Within months he was serving as the show’s lead editor, a post he held for eight years.

Vogt credits his experience in animation with teaching him many of the fundamentals of storytelling. While he enjoyed his time on South Park--and feels what he did there has resonated in popular culture--he’s happy to ply his craft on a wider creative stage.

“For me, the joy of editing and being able to tell different kinds of stories shouldn’t be limited to a specific genre,” Vogt explained. “What I learned in animation and comedy taught me a lot about rhythm and nuance, and those lessons can apply to anything. I’m looking forward to putting all that to use here at Spot Welders.”

  • Tuesday, Jul. 29, 2014
Mikey Please, Dan Ojari form directing duo Parabella
Parabella, a.k.a. Mikey Please (l) and Dan Ojari.
NEW YORK -- 

Mikey Please, a filmmaker known for his multi-disciplinary work, has partnered with long-time friend and animation collaborator Dan Ojari to form the directing collective Parabella.

The new directing team is represented in the U.S. and Canada by the Hornet studio, which had been handling Please as a solo helmer. Ojari--who animated the lauded Please-directed shorts Marilyn Myller and The Eagleman Stag--is also known for his own short film, Slow Derek, which hit the festival circuit in 2012 with screenings at Sundance and the Cannes Film Fest.

  • Monday, Jul. 28, 2014
Creative directors Sonderup, Grant join Translation
Nick Sonderup (l) and Andy Grant
NEW YORK -- 

Translation has added creative director duo Nick Sonderup and Andy Grant to its roster. The new arrivals mark the first major creative hires under the tenure of CCO John Norman and ECDs Jay Berry and Marc d’Avignon, who were brought on board in early 2014. Sonderup and Grant will focus their work primarily on the agency’s State Farm initiatives, having already contributed to the launch of the inaugural State Farm Neighborhood Sessions, a philanthropic concert spotlighting pop icon Jennifer Lopez in her hometown of the Bronx.

Sonderup comes to Translation following a three-year run at BBDO, and nearly five years at Wieden + Kennedy before that--having begun his career as a writer at MTV Networks. A copywriter by trade, he has delivered his wordsmithery for several top brands, including GE, ESPN, American Red Cross, Starbucks, Sharp and MTV. His work has been distinguished with AICP Show, Art Director’s Club, ANDY, One Show, Effie, and ADDY awards, just to name a few, and his contributions to GE’s acclaimed “Childlike Imagination” helped the spot to earn a primetime commercial Emmy nomination. Sonderup has also deployed his talents across numerous projects beyond the advertising industry, serving as the creative director of the inaugural Woodstock Comedy Festival in 2013, and creating the documentary “100 Bands in 100 Days,” which premiered at SXSW 2011.

Grant joins Translation from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, where he helped to create one of the most-viewed commercials of all time, “The Selfie Shootout,” starring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi, and boasting over 138 million YouTube views.  An advertising veteran of 14 years, Grant has spent significant time working in offices all over the world. Prior to moving to Los Angeles for his role at CP+B, he enjoyed stints as an ACD and art director at a number of top international shops, including BBH Singapore, WCRS London, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg, and Ogilvy Prague.

  • Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014
Director Michael Fitzmaurice joins BRW Filmland
Michael Fitzmaurice
LOS ANGELES -- 

BRW Filmland Los Angeles has signed director Michael Fitzmaurice for U.S. commercial representation.  The helmer’s output includes spots for the likes of Lexus, Chevy and the NBA with his AICP Show-winning “Big Color.”  He’s already hit the ground running through BRW with recent campaigns for Chevy Silverado and Mazda.

Fitzmaurice successfully transitioned to the director’s chair after time serving as a regarded automotive cinematographer.  Before lensing work for assorted automakers, he was a camera assistant for legendary commercial director Joe Pytka.  With Pytka, he developed a sophisticated knowledge of the logistics of filming, working on commercials featuring celebrities such as Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Tiger Woods. 
As a DP and camera operator, he built his reel working with top directorial talent including Lance Acord, Douglas Avery, Sean Thonson and Eun-Taek Cha.

As an aerial footage DP and camera assistant in the feature world, Fitzmaurice worked on such blockbusters as Iron Man one and two, The Dark Night, Fast & Furious 4, and The Italian Job.

Fitzmaurice comes to BRW Filmland from Park Pictures.  

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